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If courts won't listen to dads,
will dads listen to courts?

Some say angry fathers turning to radical activity and violence

by Clair Wiederholt
Shortly after the August-September edition of Today's Dads came out, I had a conversation with a Wisconsin circuit court judge who said he was offended by Jim Novak's "Getting in their face" article. Mr. Novak had suggested we publicly confront those judges who have taken our kids from our lives under the prevailing "mother is best for the kids, dad is dispensable" court policy.

Many of us have worked doggedly within the system for over 10 years, have seen zip for our efforts, and are frustrated. Mr. Novak spent a day a month over several years attending the Supreme Court's Equal Justice Task Force committee meetings, prepared an extensive minority report, and testified before the Supreme Court. The results for his efforts were virtually nothing. The Final Report of that committee made only a couple recommendations addressing father's and men's concerns while making dozens addressing mother's and women's concerns.

Another WFEJ officer, Bill Fetzner, served on the Legislative Joint Special Committee on Child Custody, Support and Visitation Laws, hoping for the creation of more equitable custody and placement laws. He, too, was rudely disappointed. While some committee members were sensitive to our concerns, the majority of this committee was openly disdainful of fathers and their efforts to have their children in their lives. The result was numerous proposals to tighten child support enforcement and barely a single proposal that would increase a man's likelihood of staying a father after divorce.

Last September, many WFEJ members and nearly 100 men and women from around the state testified at a Department of Health and Social Services Committee on revising HSS80, the guidelines that determine child support payments in Wisconsin. We were strong, unified and clear in our messages. Both parents should be obligated to financially provide for their child. Child support should decrease when dad has his child more of the time. Child support amounts should reflect the actual costs of rearing a child, not be disguised alimony.

The Department of Health and Social Services Committee, which is responsible for the funneling of some $385 million annually from mainly men to mainly women, ignored us, dismissed us. By the way, the committee was composed completely of women-not even a token male was on this committee. DHSS women ignoring us and deciding themselves how nearly $385 million of our male earnings would be spent!

Many of us have worked patiently within the court system, naively believing the legal system values fathering and metes out justice fairly. I have spent the last 10 years working within the court system only to see the courts allow my ex-wife to move my children 130 miles away from me and then allow her to repeatedly violate placement orders while only gently asking her not to do it again. When I attempted to increase my time with my children, the court reduced it to two, 28-hour periods per month. (This is no typo - yes, just 2 days a month). When I appealed this decision, the District II Court of Appeals said two, 28-hour periods of placement per month is a reasonable amount of time for my children to be parented by me.

Some of us are fortunate to have our children with us significant amounts of time but are still obligated to pay full child support, or once the placement approaches 50%, obtain only token reductions in child support. Some of us earn less than $20,000 per year and are still obligated to pay the full child support percentage to ex-wives who make more than $40,000 per year and are remarried to men earning $60,000 or more. Steak at mom's house; peanut butter sandwiches at dad's.

All of us recognize that before our divorce, we did not spend 17%, 25% or 29% of our gross incomes on our children. We know there is minimal connection between child support payments and what it actually costs to rear a child. We see our ex-wives refusing to obtain employment, using the child support to cover her personal expenses. Some of us see an unemployed new boyfriend living with our ex-wives and wonder who is really covering his expenses.

We have seen our children stripped from us, our wallets drained, and we're mad, both for our sake and, more importantly, for the sake of our child. We're men, not castratees. We were socialized to be our children's protectors and their source of guidance and strength, not to walk meekly away at the word of someone who claims to have more authority with our children than we do. How is it that judges who never gave fit dads their children come to take them away?

Hey, we have tried to work within the system and it hasn't worked. We've had roadblocks at each turn. Modern history shows us that oppressed groups who are not heeded within the system start working outside it. Many Wisconsin fathers are at that juncture in the road.

Given the legal system's refusal to respond to our pleas and let us be fathers, I believe more radical activity is inevitable. Already I have had an irate father whose children were stripped from him by the courts propose to me that we organize a single day when fathers find those child-stealing judges and "blow 'em away." WFEJ president Jim Novak, who answers our ALL-DADS telephone number, tells me he receives about half a dozen calls a year from recently "de-childed" men suggesting the same sort of thing.

That's scary stuff. I hope Wisconsin fathers never resort to violence and Mr. Novak and I do all we can to prevent it. But we have learned time and time again that extreme frustration is frequently vented in outlaw activity.

Wisconsin needs to give fathers hope, not more disappointment. When Wisconsin comes to respect fathers, listen to their concerns, and creates public policy giving them a full parenting role equal to that of mothers, calls for "getting in their face" and violence will end.

Postscript: My wife read a draft of the above and noted a tone of anger. We have a right to be angry. In fact, I'm proud dads stripped of their kids are angry. Our anger shows we care, that we recognize both the needs of our kids and that we are being cheated. If fathers were complacent and apathetic about the loss of their children, then I'd be worried. A society with apathetic fathers is a diseased society.

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Published in Today's Dads October, 1995, page 1.


jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition


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